NY moves to ban plastic bags

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to ban single-use plastic bags like these from being used for carryout purchases at grocery stores. The ban would begin Jan. 1 2019

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday called for a ban on plastic carryout bags at stores across NY, calling them an environmental scourge that need to be addressed. "As the old proverb goes: 'We did not inherit the earth, we are merely borrowing it from our children, ' and with this action, we are helping to leave a stronger, cleaner and greener NY for all".

Cuomo's campaign defended his record on protecting the environment and devising ways to combat climate change, saying he led the effort to ban fracking in NY and fought for regulations reducing carbon emissions. The state says NY residents use 23 billion plastic bags each year. On Monday, Peter M. Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of NY, said that under Cuomo's new proposal some thicker plastic bags would still be allowed under the idea that they are reusable. "We look forward to working with the utilities, the state and all stakeholders to ensure Governor Cuomo's exciting goals yield real and timely results".

He introduced a bill Monday that would ban plastic carryout bags from any point of sale in the state.

Monday's proposal came as a result of a report in January by a task force that Mr. Cuomo convened past year after blocking the city bill. The state's Department of Environmental Conservation would also be allowed to exempt certain bags through regulations.

It would go into effect on January 1, 2019. New York City alone estimates a savings of $12.5 million in disposal costs by reducing the number of single-use plastic bags. And we all have that one drawer or cabinet that holds the bag of plastic bags.

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Every year, NY residents use about 23 billion plastic bags, leading to litter and plastic pollution. These bags do not biodegrade and they persist for years.

Cynthia Nixon has pushed Governor Andrew Cuomo so far out of his comfort zone that he's now proposing new laws for which he has previously expressed zero enthusiasm.

Cuomo cited the "devastating toll" plastic bags take on our natural resources.

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito said, "Plastic pollution has become a serious threat to our lakes, rivers and marine environment as well as public health".

On Monday the Cuomo admin floated a bill that would ban many kinds of plastic shopping bags starting at the beginning of 2019.

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